Critical server checks IT often neglects (Part 2)

(PART 2 of 2)

Scary Disclaimer: Even though most of these steps may be easy, anyone following them should use caution and acknowledge that you are doing this at your own risk. If at any point you are unsure of what to do or how to do it, then DON’T DO IT and ask an IT support professional for help. We are not responsible for any server, hardware or data failures.

*The following Checks will require you to login to the server with admin access.

CHECK 3: (Run the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer) First download the “Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer” from your workstation (not the server). You can Google the name or click the download link here:

If your server is 64 bit then click the “MBSASetup-x64-EN.msi” download.

If your server is 32 bit then click the “MBSASetup-x86-EN.msi” download.

(If you don’t know your server version, you can download both but only one will run on the server, the other one will just refuse to run. Typically the newer servers are 64bit)

Next save the file(s) to a USB drive, insert the drive to one of the USB ports on the server and login to the server. Copy the file(s) to the desktop and run the program. Use the default settings and scan the computer. The result will be a report on the status of the server and any issues that may exist.  For further help in understanding this report, contact BCT.

Check 4: (Verify Backups) The best way to verify your backups is to login to the server and place a document file on the server. Give the file a catchy name and then on the second day delete the file from the server and the recycle bin. On the third day call your IT Company or person, give them the name of the file, and ask them to recover it for you. If your server has daily backups, they should not have any problem recovering the file for you. From our experience, we learned that an actual restore is a much more reliable way of testing your backups vs. just getting a report. This is why with our backup agreement we require our techs to manually restore a random file from the server on a regular basis.

Check 5: (Server Restart) This last step could be risky and should be done during non-business hours. It may also cause services to fail after the server comes back online so do this at your own risk. We also recommend to have an IT person on standby should something go wrong and to verify your server backups first.  During power outages and hardware failures your server will restart. It is important to understand what happens when it does, what fails during restart and to have a controlled test. In most cases, a server should restart completely within 30 minutes and should not need an IT person to bring the server services back online. If a server that does not restart on its own, its usually because the server is unmaintained or has a lot of serious errors.

To restart the server, login to the server and then select restart from the bottom left windows menu. Do NOTrestart the server by pulling the power cord from the back, powering off the UPS/surge protectors, or by holding down the power button. 

By following the steps above you will have a better picture of the status of your company servers. In the chance that you discover that your IT is not doing a good job, we ask that you call us and allow us to earn your business.


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